NHL Avalanche G Pavel Francouz to start Game 2 vs. Oilers

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz will start against the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Thursday in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals in Denver.

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar confirmed the news on Thursday morning and noted that Game 1 starter Darcy Kuemper will be unavailable for the contest. Kuemper sustained an upper-body injury during the second period of Colorado’s 8-6 victory in the series opener on Tuesday.

Kuemper, 32, saved 13 of the 16 shots he faced before being replaced by Francouz at 7:19 of the second with his team leading 6-3. Francouz went on to stop 18 of 21 shots as the Avalanche held on for an 8-6 win.

It was the second time this postseason that Kuemper left a game. He took a stick near his eye in Game 3 of the first round against the Nashville Predators. The Avalanche swept the Predators after Francouz made 28 saves in a 5-3 win in Game 4.

Francouz, who turns 32 on Friday, posted a 15-5-1 record with a 2.55 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 21 games (18 starts) during the regular season.

Kuemper is 6-2 with a 2.65 GAA and .897 save percentage in these playoffs. He went 37-12-4 with five shutouts, a 2.54 GAA and .921 save percentage during 57 appearances (all starts) in the regular season.

–Field Level Media

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